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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1988 Sep 8;966(3):370-4.

4-Hydroxyretinal, a new visual pigment chromophore found in the bioluminescent squid, Watasenia scintillans.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Osaka University, Toyonaka, Japan.


The bioluminescent squid, Watasenia scintillans has three visual pigments. The major pigment, based on retinal (lambda max 484 nm), is distributed over the whole retina. Another pigment based on 3-dehydroretinal (lambda max approximately 500 nm) and the third pigment (lambda max approximately 470 nm) are localized in the specific area of the ventral retina just receiving the downwelling light. Visual pigment was extracted and purified from the dissected retina. The chromophores were then extracted and analyzed with HPLC, NMR, infrared and mass spectroscopy, being compared with the synthetic 4-hydroxyretinal. A new retinal derivative, 11-cis-4-hydroxyretinal, is identified as the chromophore of the third visual pigment of the squid.

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